Designed for anyone who is, or aspires to be, a social impact leader, the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact is a 'pracademic' course with a uniquely comprehensive curriculum based on systems thinking and social design principles.
The course offers:
Specialised knowledge and tools across all aspects of social impact, including social innovation, social design, social enterprise and entrepreneurship, impact measurement, social finance, impact investment, philanthropy, collective impact, shared value, social responsibility, collaboration and leadership.
Opportunities to interact with real organisations and change makers through guest lectures, panel discussions and projects.
Access to a highly engaged and powerful network of change makers, including fellow students, alumni, researchers, staff and partners of the CSI UWA.
A postgraduate certification from the UWA Business School, which can serve as an entry point to a Master of Business Administration.
The GCSI student cohort is an energetic blend of representatives from the corporate, government, community and social enterprise sectors providing a rich cross-sectoral learning and networking environment. An understanding of the new social impact, business and measurement models has assisted students to return to their workplaces, businesses and organisations and make an immediate positive impact in their professional capacities.
The GCSI units are available to students enrolled in the UWA Business School’s Master of Business Administration (MBA). They have attracted a number of MBA students wishing to complement their business studies with units with a social emphasis . A focus of the program is on real-life case studies and collaborative assignments with business and the community sector. A feature of the Graduate Certificate of Social Impact is the use of international and national guest speakers and experts in the program.
On completion of the course, students graduate with the critical leadership skills to manage organisations, businesses and social programs, leading social innovation and measurement of impact and creating social value.
I was looking to do further study, but not sure exactly which course. I went to the UWA Business School Open day, and was told about the Centre for Social Impact. After researching the Centre and the course, I knew this was the perfect fit for me.
As a result of studying social impact, I felt I had the knowledge base to be able to apply for, and provide a meaningful contribution to the Business Development and Strategy team in a not-for-profit organisation.
As someone who was familiar with the not-for-profit sector, the field of social impact was a new concept for me, but resonated really well. The Grad Cert in Social Impact gave me a whirl-wind tour, and a thirst to learn more. This course provides a really good foundation and understanding of the concepts of social impact, and is a great resource base of knowledge, tools and networks to further your career in this field.
Meera Byatt, GCSI graduate, 2014
Project Officer, Business Development and Strategy - Growth Projects, UnitingCare West
The Graduate Certificate in Social Impact is delivered part-time over one year (with a maximum completion time of two years) and comprises four units. Each unit consists of five full days of face-to-face education on Fridays and Saturdays over several weeks. The content is delivered by experts in each subject area, including Ingrid Burkett, Paul Flatau, Elena Douglas, Kylie Charlton and Renu Burr. Information about each unit is provided below.
Social Impact: Entrepreneurs and Social Innovation
This unit examines the social economy through the emerging spectrum of organisational forms that generate both social and economic value. It looks at why the traditional boundaries between government, business and the third sector have become blurred and fluid and what that means for the capacity to deliver new forms of social impact. The unit then examines trends and drivers re-shaping the dynamics of social impact. It reviews the key changes that have occurred within each of the sectors and the ways in which these changes drive social innovation, concluding with a review of global trends and organisations that effect social change and impact.
Ingrid Burkett is one of Australia’s leading experts in the fields of social design and social innovation. She is currently Social Design Fellow at Centre for Social Impact, Managing Director of Knode, Associate Director Co-design + Systems change at The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, and President of the International Association for Community Development.
This unit provides an overview of the challenges facing leaders in social impact and tools to overcome these challenges to drive positive social change. It examines:
Current challenges in achieving social benefit;
New forms of organising designed to address breakdowns in the social economy;
The challenges and opportunities of leadership during a time of inflexion;
Leadership in the social economy and diagnosis models for leadership challenges;
Systems thinking for leaders, exploring models centred on identifying adaptive challenges for leaders;
Intervention of leaders and practices for more effective and positive social outcomes; and
Governance systems and demands.
Renu Burr is a highly experienced facilitator of leadership and is Director of her own consulting practice, Burr Consulting. She has led and managed numerous change and cultural transformation programs and associated leadership development interventions involving the design, implementation and evaluation of business strategies, structures and human resources processes.
This unit provides the knowledge and tools necessary to understand and apply social impact frameworks and methodologies at a project and organisational level. It includes:
A discussion of the factors that have been driving the greater focus on social impact assessment, as well as the benefits and limitations of evaluation more broadly;
A critical discussion of what constitutes robust evidence on social impact;
An examination of the underpinning principles of evaluation, cost-benefit analysis and social impact assessment (e.g. stakeholder engagement, theories of change, transparency, ethics, verification and assurance);
A detailed focus (concepts and practice) on key social impact measurement approaches: logic models, social impact assessment (SIA), the most significant change (MSG) approach, and the social return on investment (SROI) method; and
A discussion of frameworks used to account for social impact in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors such as the global reporting initiative (GRI), the London Benchmarking Group (LBG) initiative and results-based accountability (RBA).
Professor Paul Flatau is a leading researcher, educator and thought leader in social impact and is Director of the UWA Centre for Social Impact. He has made significant contributions to the analysis of social and economic outcomes and social impact and the effectiveness of programs and interventions in Indigenous housing, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, housing and the assessment of social innovations.
This unit introduces the history, core concepts and current issues in the fields of philanthropy, fundraising and social investment. It includes an international historical overview, social investment and social change drivers and characteristics, principles and techniques of giving and fundraising, ethical and philosophical perspective, current forces shaping fundraising and grant-making and current developments and controversies in social investment. The unit examines the major changes reshaping the role of philanthropy and social finance both internationally and in the Australian context, including:
Global economic realignments;
The privatisation of community services;
New patterns of wealth distribution and of inter-generational wealth transfer; and
Greater expectations of the role of corporate citizenship and of corporate philanthropy.
It then looks to leading edge case studies on emerging and innovative forms of social finance, which is highly practical and relevant content that students will be well equipped to apply across sectors in the social impact field.
Elena Douglas is a policy entrepreneur including driving Australia's engagement with its 1 million strong diaspora. She is currently Social Innovation Fellow at the UWA Centre for Social Impact, CEO of Knowledge Society Pty Ltd and a columnist for the Australian Financial Review.
Kylie Charlton is a senior finance executive and social finance entrepreneur with international investment banking and structured finance experience raising debt and equity capital for socially orientated businesses across a range of sectors. She is Managing Director of Unitus Capital and has written widely in publications on the topic of social impact investment.
Course at a glance
Crawley (Perth, Western Australia)
Internal (on campus)
Trimester 1, Trimester 2, Trimester 3. Please note that orientation begins one week before the start of each trimester
Weekly time commitment
N/A. This course is offered in intensive study mode
Standard full-time completion
1 year (please note that this course is only offered part-time)